INS AND OUTS
Last season the Buckeyes of Ohio State won the Big Ten playoff and placed third in the NCAA tournament, defeating Adolph Rupp's Kentucky and Houston and the Big E in the process. Four starters return to this club and a hotshot sophomore moves in to take the place of Bill Hosket. Yet in your College Basketball Issue (Dec. 2) you do not pick this team in the top 20. Too bad. You were wrong about the football Buckeyes, and you will be wrong about the basketball Buckeyes.
I was disappointed to find Purdue in and Iowa out. By no means can you say Purdue is that much better.
I thought your pick of the top 20 basketball teams was most commendable, except for one thing. The University of Cincinnati will be No. 1 when all the NCAA playoffs are over.
I have just finished reading your rundown of college basketball 1968-69, and I find it very interesting (as well as ridiculous) that you mentioned 70-odd college teams without one word about the best team in the East—Duquesne University.
Thank you for discovering the University of Santa Clara, at last! The Broncos, in past years, have had highly ranked teams in football, basketball and baseball. This recognition is long overdue, but appreciated just the same.
Mervin Hyman's interesting remarks in the article The Passing Fancy (Dec. 2) evoke some comments from one who has followed the basketball scene for 51 years.
For all the dipsy-doodle ball handling that fans best remember in connection with Bob Cousy, few are aware that Cousy was years ahead of his time. All those clever things Bob did were self-taught. As Arnie Risen remarked back in 1958, it was most fortunate for pro basketball that Cousy came along when he did, for until he brightened things up with his hocus-pocus (for which rival players called him bush) the play-for-pay game was monotonous.
In a sense Cousy never made an errant pass! If one ever reconstructed any of his passes that misfired one would quickly realize that the intended receiver either zigged when he should have zagged or loafed on the play. Bob had a most fantastic mind, and he instinctively knew where all his teammates were by the mere sound of their foot-beats.
George Ireland is correct in declaring that today's ball handlers are superior to those of yesteryear. But the modern day Cousys, Lenny Wilkenses and John Egans will become more plentiful only when all of the high schools and colleges start incorporating assists in their regular box-score statistics and sportswriters begin to give playmakers and high scorers equal attention.
WILLIAM G. MOKRAY
Editor and Publisher
Your evaluation of the lost art of ball handling holds water until you get to Kentucky, where the emphasis on teamwork and moving the ball is so great that it sometimes may tend to be detrimental. The great Mike Casey, Kentucky's junior star, passed up several easy baskets for the privilege of passing off to another man in the Wildcats' recent romp over Xavier. Despite this, he ended up with 29 points. We at Kentucky even see such outdated phenomena as bounce passes and two-handed set shots. Keep your eye on Kentucky—the Wildcats may not win them all, but they sure play the game as it should be played.